Elizabeth Block Pottery

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Lucky Man/Buena Suerte Tengo Yo

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LUCKY MAN   Grit Laskin   Spanish translation by Elizabeth Block
1. I had no say in being born,

Or where or when it happened to me,
It's only chance that turned the wheel

And made my living easy.

CHORUS:  Oh, I am a lucky man,

Favoured by good fortune's hand,
Far more than I'm deserving

2. I've had good work since I was young
,Mastered a trade, my business thriving,
Yet thousands idly bide their days:
No job means no surviving

3. I share a love that's fair and true,
A marriage have I that's rich with pleasure,
Yet there are those whose wedding vows

Are shackles that embitter.

4. There's some who die for want of bread,
There's some are killed for seeking freedom,
Yet I have more of what they lack
Than ever I'll be needing.


You can download a recording of this for 99 cents.  Google Grit Laskin, Lucky Man, and the site will come up on the first page.

I sing it unaccompanied.  Accompaniment, if any, is best with something that sustains, like a concertina.  Freely, adjusting the rhythm (and the tune) to the words.  Bear in mind that in Spanish it’s OK to put the accent on the wrong syllable.

Please feel free to share, with José Ortiz or anyone else interested.  Just tell the audience who wrote it!


1. Mi nacimiento no elegí,

Ni el donde ni el cuando,

Fortuna su rueda torneó,

Buen vida me ha dado.


Coro:   Buena suerte tengo yo,

            De la fortuna bandito

            Sin haber merecido.


2. He obrado desde juventud,

Está medrando mi comercio,

Mas miles son sin quehacer:

No empleo, no comida.


3. Con mi cónyuge vivo yo feliz,

Amantes y también amigos,

Mas hay casados que se sienten

Juntados por cadenas.


4. Hay muertos a falta de pan,

Matados por buscar libertad,

Mas de los dos tengo yo más

De lo que necesito.


A Potter's Alphabet

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A Potter’s Alphabet

This is a variation on a traditional theme – A Woodsman’s Alphabet, A Sailor’s Alphabet, etc. If you are not a potter yourself, it probably won’t interest you; in fact, it probably won’t make much sense!

Tune: “Sweet Betsy from Pike.”

A's for alumina, part of all clays,

B is for boron, it makes shiny glaze.

C is for cone, and C is for coil,

Coil pots can be large but they take lots of toil.


The Potters

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The Potters

The tune, and first two lines, come from the Oxford Book of Carols, No.1, second tune.  Please feel free to sing it, with proper attribution (i.e. tell people who wrote it).

1. The Lord at first did Adam make
Out of the dust and clay,
And in his nostrils breathèd life
E'en as the scriptures say,
So when you meet potters proud of their craft
You should not think it odd:
We are prenticed to the greatest Master of all
For the very first potter was God.

Ch:  For from the beginning of history
Wherever humankind
Makes things of beauty and of use
The potters there you'll find.


2. How could you ever break your fast,
How could you dine or sup,
Or drink your coffee or your tea
Without a plate or cup?
And when at a banquet or a feast
On the table flowers blaze,
A gardener grew the blossoms fair
But a potter made the vase. (Ch.)

3. In China and in ancient Greece,
In Yucután as well,
Scribes and artists worked on clay,
Their nations tales to tell.
Now the archaeologist deciphers much
Of long-ago people's lives
From shards of broken pottery
When nothing else survives. (Ch.)

4. Of clay we make our kitchen sinks,
Of clay our bathroom tiles,
Of clay we make our soup tureens
In many colours and styles,
And let's not forget the toilet bowl,
Indeed, I must say this:
I hope you'll never be too poor to have
A pot in which to piss. (Ch.)

5. Of porcelain in former days
The best false teeth were made
With porcelain dolls dressed in finest silk
ur great-grandmothers played.
Now rockets use ceramic cones
To come safely back to earth,
And who knows to how many other things
Our noble craft will give birth. (Ch.)